French Polynesia’s main island of Tahiti was mopping up at the weekend following several days of torrential rains which have triggered mass flooding late last week, causing over 260 houses to be affected, including two taken away and two bridges to have collapsed. Photo: Patrick DeCloitre/23121114
French Polynesia's main island of Tahiti has been mopping up at the weekend following several days of torrential rains which triggered mass flooding late last week.
It caused over 260 houses to
be affected, including two taken away and two bridges to have collapsed.
Many rivers have since left
their banks and submerged neighbouring villages.
The mainly affected areas are
located on the main island of Tahiti, but also on neighbouring Moorea as well
as Bora-Bora and Maupiti.
In those areas, since the end
of last week, schools have remained closed for safety reasons.
French Polynesia's President
Moetai Brotherson said a state of natural disaster would be declared this week.
In some affected areas, French
civil security had to rescue residents by helicopter.
In other cases, people had to
be evacuated across flooded rivers with stretchers attached to a rope.
However, a majority of residents
refused to be evacuated.
One of the affected villages,
Teahupoo, is also famous for being the host of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games
Even though torrential rains
have now ceased, authorities have warned the population in the Society Islands
archipelago to remain vigilant regarding the ongoing risk of post-flooding
These include leptospirosis
and mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue fever.
The French High Commission,
which has activated its emergency centre, has also strongly warned residents in
the affected areas should refrain from moving out of their homes and to stay
away from swollen rivers with strong currents.
People found to be swimming in
affected rivers will be liable to a fine of €150 (about US$160).